None of that Rubbish in 2016!

We have just had a couple of weeks with family in France, sleeping and eating lots, resting and thinking about what really matters! I love this time of the year. You can really unwind and not feel remotely guilty about it. We really made the most of our time with loved ones eating (way too much), laughing, playing games, reading and watching rubbish TV.

I hope you all had a nice, relaxing Christmas. Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it is 2016 already?

I have not set new year’s resolutions as such for years, probably because by the 3rd of January, they are all forgotten about and good old habits are back (so warm and fluffy, so comfortable and easy!).

Rather than going for unachievable goals of perfection, sparkle and ambition, I thought I would put to paper (and keyboard) a short list of things I want to stop running away from.

 

In 2016, I will not be a distracted mum.

My lifetime ambition is to be a good mum. I am not interested in fame or success, more money than I can dream of or gold-plated furniture. I just want my four children to be happy and grow up to become good members of society. Nothing more.

A lot of the time, although I am there in person, I have so much on my mind I go on autopilot with the children and chat with them without being fully attentive to what they are saying, asking for or wondering about.

I want to be a present parent, one who really listens. Children grow up so quickly; I wouldn’t want to wake up one day thinking I have missed their childhood or not made the most of it. I will make sure that every day, I spend at least 10 minutes one-to-one with each one of my children reading, cuddling, doing homework or playing. I know it sounds like very little time, but with six of us at home, we generally spend time as a group rather than in pairs.

 

In 2016, I will not get overwhelmed by my to-do list.

That list is my nemesis. I cannot remember anything that does not get written down, so I make lots of notes. I also tend to give myself a daily list of things to do much longer than I could possibly do in one week. I am not realistic and as a result, I get scared at the sheer length of my list of things to complete. I then panic and end up procrastinating rather than crossing anything off the wretched list. It will take time, but I will do it: I will see this list as a useful organisational tool rather than an enemy.

 

In 2016, I will not get online at the weekend.

About a year ago, I started turning off the laptop from my bedtime on Fridays to the children’s bedtime on Sundays. I feel a lot more relaxed, have more time for the children, chat more with my husband and even enjoy my Saturday ironing sessions. Family time is quality time, even when it is nothing more than sitting together around the dining room table drawing or going for a run outside.  I also feel more productive. Having time to reflect and going back to paper for a couple of days every week makes a lot of difference. I love it, but I need to do it more consistently in 2016.

Spending more time outside

In 2016, I will not be late.

You know that mum who runs past you as you are leaving the school, the dishevelled one pushing a child through the classroom door as it is about to close, the one with the baby in pyjamas in the pram, porridge caked on her face (the baby, not the mum!)… Me, me, me, all me!

I am not proud of it, but pretty much every morning is hectic. Most of the time, everything seems under control until about 5 minutes before it is time to leave. Then it all goes pear shaped and we manage to leave the house at the time we should arrive at school (3 minutes away) every single day.

OK, this one might take some time and organisation but my little man is starting to worry about being one of the last children to arrive at school every day. All he wants is to line up with everyone else in the playground in the morning. Come on Mel, you can do this!

Have you got resolutions for the New Year?

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22 Comments

  1. 02/01/2016 / 8:32 pm

    Happy New Year Mel. I’m sure you will achieve your goals this year. Wishing you all a brilliant 2016. xxx

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:37 pm

      Happy New Year to you too, lovely, and thanks for your card. After much thought, I put my cards away for next year instead of writing them. I did feel guilty, but also relieved!

  2. 02/01/2016 / 9:38 pm

    Happy new year to you, my lovely!
    What a great start to the year it has been great to relax and catch up with friends and family
    I think your goals are realistic, and I totally understand your pre school challenges – something happens to time in the morning and it goes twice as fast than any other time of the day!! You’ll do it
    Xx

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:39 pm

      We shall see. That morning thing really is one I want to tackle, for the kids if not for me. Happy New Year my lovely!

  3. 02/01/2016 / 9:41 pm

    Brilliant post darling, I’ll be here cheering you on from the sidelines 🙂 I’m halfway through a post that touches on some of this, especially the present parenting and less screen time. Can’t wait to catch up xxx

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:39 pm

      Thanks sweetie. I’ve just read your post. Wow. Can’t wait to catch up over a cup of coffee. x

  4. 02/01/2016 / 10:13 pm

    Happy new year Mel! All the very best to you and your family. We need to meet again this year ? I love your web-free week-end resolution, I’ll definitely give it a try too! From next week ☺️ Take care. Helene.

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:43 pm

      Happy New Year to you too, ma belle! It really is liberating to turn off the laptop on Friday night not to look at it again until Sunday night. I hope you manage to do it too! x

  5. 03/01/2016 / 11:52 am

    Happy new year Mel! I have just written down the things I would like to do this year and many are similar to yours! Quality family time is certainly top of my list! Along with staying calm and relaxed by practicing mindfulness. Hope to catch up early in 2016. In the meantime good luck with your list xxx

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:42 pm

      Happy New Year to you and the whole family, Vicki… and “cheers” to quality family time!

  6. 03/01/2016 / 12:46 pm

    Je te souhaite une très belle année ma chère Mel! Je suis ravie de savoir que tu as passée un joyeux Noël en France, moi j’étais en Espagne!! Et c’était très bien aussi! Je n’ai pas encore des résolutions pour cet année mais peut être je veut te piqué un peu les tiennes surtout la première!! Bisous

    • 03/01/2016 / 11:41 pm

      Ca fait du bien de passer du temps en famille… Je parie que c’était pareil pour toi. Bonne année!

  7. 04/01/2016 / 11:08 pm

    Happy New Year! Love your objectives for the new year especially the being present one. So easy to be there but not really be there. Good luck with the less stressful mornings ? xx

    • 04/01/2016 / 11:33 pm

      Thanks lovely. I hope I can live up to it tomorrow morning!

  8. 04/01/2016 / 11:14 pm

    Happy New Year Mel xx

    I’m still thinking about my resolutions, I think the 1st is too early to set them as I’m still in holiday mode so I’m waiting until Daniel is back to school!

    I like the sound of yours, especially focusing on quality time with the children. I don’t think I could put my laptop away all weekend though.

    • 04/01/2016 / 11:35 pm

      Happy New Year my lovely! You should try the laptop thing one weekend: the feeling is incredible! xxx

  9. 07/01/2016 / 7:47 pm

    Happy new year Mel! As a blogger it is always tempting to switch on your laptop on and I am sure we all feel guilty from time to time. My new year resolution is to get some exercise as I am naturally lazy with sports…so far so good! Ciao!

    • 08/01/2016 / 9:45 pm

      Well done, lady! I must get some motivation for exercise, but it is one of my least favourite things to do… What sort of exercise do you do?

  10. 07/01/2016 / 7:48 pm

    Happy new year Mel! I can relate to nearly all your objectives especially about being present in the moment. That is so important but also so easy to slip up on. I haven’t made any resolutions as such but I have some goals which I am writing down – both on work and family and I ask myself each day in the morning, what little step am I going to take today to get closer to getting there. I am not making any major changes overnight but tiny little steps everyday – so far. (Ask me again in March and I don’t know what the story will be then 😉

    • 08/01/2016 / 9:43 pm

      I like your idea of tiny little steps. I should do that with the ‘no more being late’ resolution… Changing overnight is virtually impossible, but taking your time to achieve what you want sounds a lot more reasonable.

  11. 08/01/2016 / 10:25 pm

    Do you know, you are right. I should not go on social media or blog at weekends. As for the being to school on time – we get up earlier than needs and have about half an hour before school to play, read (poo) – and it gives those unexpected things time, or time to take our time and wake up gently. Not sure if that would work for you. Best of luck.

    • 08/01/2016 / 10:51 pm

      You are 100% right about getting up earlier and having plenty of time to do everything that needs doing. My only issue is I am a night owl: I go to bed quite late and really struggle to get up in the morning. No matter how much I want to do it, the temptation to ‘snooze’ one more time is too big.

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